Almost every day I notice something about technology and its intrusion on our species.
The feeling leaves me twitchy, which is the opposite of feeling groovy. Feeling nervous, even jumpy about the upcoming election might be normal, but here’s where it gets downright “nasty.”
The new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll — conducted among 1,999 registered voters Oct. 13 through Oct. 15 — shows that Trump’s repeated warnings about a “rigged” election are having effect: 73 percent of Republicans think the election could be swiped from him. Just 17 percent of Democrats agree with the prospect of massive fraud at the ballot box.
Now I always thought we could trust in our electorate to bring us the best democracy, with a capital “D,” in the whole wide world. I thought the Trump supporters, fully one third of the voting public, were just delusional about the system being “rigged.” Sure it’s rigged when the polls show their candidate losing, and fine when he was neck and neck. And if somebody says something enough, some people are bound to believe it.
But then I read about bad technology, via a Katie Couric Twitter link to US News. Granted it’s an opinion piece, and Jason Smith uses the word “could,” but it made me think. Maybe it’s not mass hysteria, maybe there is something rotten in Denmark?
U.S. elections offer scant assurance of accuracy or security, and our nation would fail recognized international election criteria that we impose on emerging democracies. This November, millions of Americans will cast their ballots on unverifiable paperless voting computers. These machines incorporate flawed, buggy software that would not pass a college freshman computer science class. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-10-18/our-election-could-be-rigged-because-of-bad-technology
Today 32 states employ some type of internet voting, and let’s face it, the computers they are using are dinosaurs – think the kind of behemoth we lugged into the Bride’s dorm room almost twenty years ago! Even when I was studying Technology in the Classroom at the Master’s level, we were always told to keep a back-up lesson plan IN PAPER at hand because you never know. Modems can get hit by lightening. Russians or a middle school student could hack them!
And to top it off, after a delightful dueling chef’s dinner last night benefitting “Georgia’s Healing House,” Bob and I sat down to a PBS episode of “GerryRIGGED.” A documentary film featuring politicians from both sides of the aisle, including Tim Kaine who probably didn’t know he would be the Veep pick at the time, explaining how legislators in both houses can redistrict their state to ensure their reelection every few years.
Gerrymandering is the enemy of representative government. It deliberately manipulates the system to take away from voters the very choice that should be a hallmark of our system,” says program producer William Oglesby. “We hope with this documentary to help citizens understand that this isn’t the way it has to be; that the voters have a right to choose their representatives rather than the representatives choose them.”
Needless to say I was up and wandering about at 3 am again. Our country is just like Great Britain drawing lines in the sand of its post-Colonial empire. Let’s get a few more Republicans over here in District 12 shall we? And VA had a chance at reform, but who would vote for their own demise? Certainly the Old Dominion didn’t.
If you need a respite from politics, and all the mud-slinging of this election, I have a Netflix show to recommend from England. “Black Mirror” (a trope to our attachment to the smart screen) is about how technology is changing the course of human history in a very scary, sinister and smart way. I’ve only seen the first few episodes of Season 1, created by Charlie Brooker, but if you are wondering where our dystopian obsession with devices is going, tune into the future.
Parental warning, the first episode of “Black Mirror” involves a pig in a compromising position. Like any great science fiction writer, the truth isn’t too far off. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/10/black-mirror-nosedive-review-season-three-netflix/504668/
Forget the myth of voter fraud, put your feet up and your devices down, talk to your children about kindness and nastiness, and maybe go leaf-peeping this week!